Queso Fresco Vs Paneer

Last Updated on December 6, 2021 by Guillermina

Paneer Vs Queso Fresco 

Queso Fresco vs. Paneer is an argument that has been going around for a long time, and it is hard to choose a side! It is also understandable as to why. Cheese is delicious, and while both these forms of cheese are similar in textures, they have rich histories oceans apart. For example, Queso Fresco is from Mexico, while Paneer is Indian.

If you are interested in reading about the similarities, differences, and history of Queso Fresco and Paneer, keep on reading.

The History Of Queso Fresco

Queso Fresco is honestly a new invention! In Mexico, before refrigeration, the people living there did not think of cheese as a side or topping until the early 1800s. There was one particular cheese, however, that farmers created using a combination of cow and goat milk. We now know this cheese like Queso Fresco.

 queso fresco

The cheese was originally made to be eaten on the same day. Queso Fresco only used two to three ingredients, which is why it crumbles. Unlike creamy cheese, Queso Fresco has a rougher texture and a slightly tart taste. Creamier and smoother cheese has a taste similar to milk. There is a long debate over the exact origin.

Although this type of cheese is commonly consumed in Mexico and has become a staple in Mexican cuisine, there are some historians that believe it actually traces back to Spain. Either way, this delicious and fresh cheese crumbles and melts as you eat it.

How Do You Make Queso Fresco?

Queso Fresco is actually really easy to make! I make it myself at home. There are only one to two ingredients in Queso Fresco. This is the exact reason that we eat it so quickly. This cheese does not preserve well unless it is pasteurized, and at that point, companies add extra chemicals.

To make Queso Fresco, you only need some kind of whole milk and an acid. Yes, it is that easy! The milk and acid are stirred together in a large bowl and brought to a boil for a minimum of ten minutes. You can pour this mixture into a cheesecloth. There are clumps of cheese already forming in this step. In the cheesecloth, squeeze excess liquid and shape it.

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What Can You Eat With Queso Fresco?

You can eat Queso Fresco with almost everything! In Mexican households, you can see Queso Fresco on top of scrambled eggs, tortillas, enchiladas, rice, and more. There is no wrong or right way to use the cheese. Although I say this, the cheese does have one purpose, and that is to pair with spicier and hotter foods.

The crumbling light cheese does not have a strong flavor. This balances out nicely with dishes that have strong spices and peppers. If you need to cool your tongue while eating Menudo or street tacos, for instance, sprinkling Queso Fresco is the best addition. This brings us to the next point, Queso Fresco vs. Paneer, which is better? Are there any differences?


The History Of Paneer

Paneer is another cheese that needs to be eaten quickly. The argument of Queso Fresco vs. Paneer makes me laugh because these cheeses are so similar! While Mexico and India do not have a lot of similarities, this cheese is a striking one.

Paneer was first introduced in the 16th century, but by who? No one actually knows. There are some sources that specifically reference Middle Eastern and African countries, while others say it was developed in India. It is commonly made with buffalo or cow milk instead of goat milk. The acid that is added is lemon.

How Do You Make Paneer?

The answer is shocking, the exact same way that Mexicans make Queso Fresco! This cheese is curdled. The texture is identical, if not the same. The consistency both crumbles and melts when you pick it up, unlike preserved cheeses that go through long processes for refrigeration.

What Can You Eat With Paneer?

Like Queso Fresco, Paneer is eaten commonly alongside traditional Indian dishes like curries. Not only is it used as a topping, but as its own side. You can cook Paneer in cubes and either fry or bake them. The taste changes drastically with the cooking as the milk and slightly acidic taste emphasize the food it is paired with.

These cubes of cheese are delicious and creamy. They are often simmered in hot, spicy, and colorful curry. Paneer, like Queso Fresco, is not made using any extra seasonings like salt. Instead, the two ingredients make the entire cheese.

Fresco Queso Vs. Paneer -Which is Bbetter?

This is almost impossible to answer the question! Both of these cheeses are eaten in different ways, and yet the flavor is the same. Both kinds of cheese are mild, slightly acidic, and milky without being creamy. Instead, it is made to crumble. You also cannot preserve either cheese if they are homemade for long because they are fresh.

Most of the time, these cheeses are set outside instead of placed in the fridge. They are also incredibly easy to make on your own. If you prefer cheeses to sprinkle on top of dishes as a crumble, Fresco Queso is a good choice. However, if you prefer cheeses to fry and cook within curries, then you are more likely to enjoy Paneer. Although this is true, they are made exactly the same way.

The biggest difference between these two kinds of cheese is that Fresco Queso does not take as long to cook. Paneer, however, needs a minimum of 2-3 hours to cook and longer to shape into cubes.

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Overall, the debate of Fresco Queso vs. Paneer is one that is difficult to access. Although they come from different regions of the world, the exact preparation is nearly the same! The main difference between these two kinds of cheese is how long it takes to form them. Paneer cheese takes long because it is consumed in the form of cubes. If you learned something new during this article, let us know in the comments!